Volunteers are the backbone of this town, helped by the generosity of the people who support them.

Local residents operate food banks, clothing exchanges, seniors’ daycare as well as organizing sports, art, culture and environmental events. It would be impossible to mention every volunteer group, but here are some.

The Wellness Volunteer Centre, the Brome Lake Food Bank and the First Responders recruit volunteers to respond to emergencies, visit patients, and deliver meals-on-wheels – all to help make life better for others.

Sports and recreation: Volunteers organize and coach soccer, rugby, baseball, hockey, rowing, skiing, pickleball, as well as specially-adapted sports activities. The Tour du Lac Brome, in which thousands of runners participate, could not manage without its many local volunteers.

Arts and culture: There is the Pettes Memorial Library, the Brome County Historical Society, the Brome Lake Theatre, Knowlton Players, the Knowlton Literary Festival and the newcomer, the Knowlton Film Festival. And let’s not forget the big summertime events, the annual Tour des Arts and Arts Alive. There are also choirs, bands and orchestras. Not to be missed, is the ever-popular Brome Fair in September.

The environment and public spaces are also a priority in TBL, and there are volunteer groups that clean up the parks, keep trails free-flowing, protect marshlands and ensure our lake is clean and sparkling.

The fast-changing field of communications is also able to inform residents about important issues and upcoming activities as well as sharing local stories. Volunteers run Tempo, and the radio station CIDI-99 and then there are local Facebook notice boards, knowlton.com and lac-brome.com

There are also the service groups such as the Knowlton Lions Club, Club Optimiste Lac-Brome, and the Yamaska Valley Optimist Club. They all raise money and do volunteer work for a variety of services. The churches and schools also provide many volunteer services.

Volunteer organizations are listed on the Town Website. The Annual Volunteer Appreciation Night, which attracts an average of 200 volunteers, will be held on May 10.

If you find that you have some time and the desire, you have a wide choice of ways of making an essential contribution to the community. Who knows, you might even make new friends. Certainly, you will gain a deep satisfaction. So go ahead and be part of the tradition.